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Thread: Pay your ticket in origami pigs?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Lord Sega's Avatar
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    Pay your ticket in origami pigs?

    Man pays ticket with 137 one dollar origami pigs... sort of.

    Article LINK
    Also here, different reporter

    LEO was amused but made him unfold all of them.
    What bothers me about this is, it's legal tender... unrolled coins or folded paper bills... shouldn't they have to take them and if they refuse then the debt is considered paid?

    In the first article:
    Government officials can refuse to accept money that is damaged or messy, such as ripped bills or coins that aren't wrapped up in rolls. But once the money is in a recognizable form it should be accepted.
    I'm not sure what state this happened in, but I would like to see the statute that says that.
    Burnt, damaged, or partially missing I can understand, but perfectly crisp clean US currency should be accepted even in a folded state. Instead of unfolding them, he should told them that he was leaving and that they could keep the folded US currency or he would take it home and concider the debt paid in full (see below for Oregon's Tender of payment).

    And in the second article:
    "That's pretty cool and that took a lot of time. Little piggies in a donut box. I got it, I got it," said the police officer, as he snapped a shot of the boxes with his phone.
    ----------

    From me in a previous thread:

    Do a YouTube search "paying pennies" ... hilarious

    My favorite: video, it includes a LEO response.

    Please note there was a guy (different video) that because he dumped the pennies all over the counter (not because he used pennies to pay) got a disorderly charge.

    The Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

    So, look up your state's laws on "Tender of Payment", have it and the Fed Coinage Act printed & ready, and start saving those pennies for your future tickets, fines, and car tows.

    For Oregon: ORS § 73.0603¹ Tender of payment
    ... (2) If tender of payment of an obligation to pay an instrument is made to a person entitled to enforce the instrument and the tender is refused, there is discharge, to the extent of the amount of the tender, of the obligation of an indorser or accommodation party having a right of recourse with respect to the obligation to which the tender relates.
    "Guns are not the problem … crazy is the problem” ... “We cannot legislate our society to the craziest amongst us.” - Jon Stewart
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  2. #2
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    I thought that was kinda cool... Until I actually looked it up. Assuming your definitions are similar to those of Alabama (reasonable assumption since our Tender of Payment law was identical), please explain to me how a traffic ticket meets the definition of an "instrument".

    It seems to me that the traffic ticket is a summons to appear, and the only "instrument" involved would be if you try to pay the fine by check.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    Regular Member Lord Sega's Avatar
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    I am not a lawyer, so correct me if I'm wrong or off here...

    A ticket is a penalty for an infraction (a fine that you now owe) and a summons to appear in court should you wish to contest the ticket, but there are other options, one of which is to "plead guilty" to the offense by signing the ticket and paying the fine.

    See below, a ticket = summons/fine = a legal document. The ticket is a debt you owe unit you go to court and argue your case. The traffic court judge has the authority to dismiss the case (absolving you of the debt) or lower the fine (less debt, but you still owe payment), or find against you in which case you have to pay the full debt.

    At http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instrument

    in·stru·ment
    noun \ˈin(t)-strə-mənt\

    Definition of INSTRUMENT
    1: a device used to produce music; also : a singing voice
    2 a : a means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered
    b : one used by another as a means or aid : dupe, tool
    3: implement; especially : one designed for precision work
    4: a formal legal document (as a deed, bond, or agreement)
    5 a : a measuring device for determining the present value of a quantity under observation
    b : an electrical or mechanical device used in navigating an airplane; especially : such a device used as the sole means of navigating
    Last edited by Lord Sega; 09-20-2012 at 01:31 AM.
    "Guns are not the problem … crazy is the problem” ... “We cannot legislate our society to the craziest amongst us.” - Jon Stewart
    “I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." - Tolkien

  4. #4
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sega View Post
    I am not a lawyer, so correct me if I'm wrong or off here...
    Will do.

    There's your main problem. If you're going to base your argument on a legal statute, you need to use the legal definition of terms. I'm not a lawyer either, and even if I were I would stay as far away from the mess that is Commerce law as I could, but here's what the Alabama Code says about Instruments:

    Quote Originally Posted by Section 7-3-104
    Negotiable instrument.

    (a) Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d), "negotiable instrument" means an unconditional promise or order to pay a fixed amount of money, with or without interest or other charges described in the promise or order, if it:

    (1) Is payable to bearer or to order at the time it is issued or first comes into possession of a holder;

    (2) Is payable on demand or at a definite time; and

    (3) Does not state any other undertaking or instruction by the person promising or ordering payment to do any act in addition to the payment of money, but the promise or order may contain (i) an undertaking or power to give, maintain, or protect collateral to secure payment, (ii) an authorization or power to the holder to confess judgment or realize on or dispose of collateral, or (iii) a waiver of the benefit of any law intended for the advantage or protection of an obligor.

    (b) "Instrument" means a negotiable instrument.

    (c) An order that meets all of the requirements of subsection (a), except subdivision (1), and otherwise falls within the definition of "check" in subsection (f) is a negotiable instrument and a check.

    (d) A promise or order other than a check is not an instrument if, at the time it is issued or first comes into possession of a holder, it contains a conspicuous statement, however expressed, to the effect that the promise or order is not negotiable or is not an instrument governed by this article.

    (e) An instrument is a "note" if it is a promise and is a "draft" if it is an order. If an instrument falls within the definition of both "note" and "draft," a person entitled to enforce the instrument may treat it as either.

    (f) "Check" means (i) a draft, other than a documentary draft, payable on demand and drawn on a bank or (ii) a cashier's check or teller's check. An instrument may be a check even though it is described on its face by another term, such as "money order."

    (g) "Cashier's check" means a draft with respect to which the drawer and drawee are the same bank or branches of the same bank.

    (h) "Teller's check" means a draft drawn by a bank (i) on another bank, or (ii) payable at or through a bank.

    (i) "Traveler's check" means an instrument that (i) is payable on demand, (ii) is drawn on or payable at or through a bank, (iii) is designated by the term "traveler's check" or by a substantially similar term, and (iv) requires, as a condition to payment, a countersignature by a person whose specimen signature appears on the instrument.

    (j) "Certificate of deposit" means an instrument containing an acknowledgment by a bank that a sum of money has been received by the bank and a promise by the bank to repay the sum of money. A certificate of deposit is a note of the bank.
    (Acts 1965, No. 549, p. 811; repealed by Acts 1995, No. 95-668, p. 1381, §1; added by Acts 1995, No. 95-668, p. 1381, §1.)
    So the first thing to point out is that section (b) says that "instrument" (like in the Tender of Payment law) refers to "Negotiable Instrument". Then we go back to (a) to see that a "Negotiable Instrument" is an unconditional promise or order to pay a fixed amount of money to the bearer that doesn't require the payor to do anything other than pay the money. That doesn't sound like a traffic ticket to me, but I'm just as not a lawyer as you are. Give me something simple like Weapons law any day of the week.

    EDIT: And just to clarify, I'm not disagreeing with you that they have to take the pennies or whatever. I'm pretty sure they have to, but probably not because of the law you posted.
    Last edited by Brimstone Baritone; 09-20-2012 at 01:43 AM.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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